ABC News’ Mary Bruce (@marykbruce) reports:
Reacting to last night’s GOP presidential debate, the White House said today that the 2012 candidates proved themselves to be out of touch with Americans by saying they would refuse to accept tax increases as part of a debt deal.
In Ames, Iowa last night the candidates were asked if they would refuse to accept a budget deal with a 10-to-1 ratio of spending cuts to tax increases. All eight presidential contenders raised their hands.
“That’s clearly not where the American people are,” Principal Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters today. “That basically puts these candidates in a position of not even asking corporate jet owners to assume one-tenth of the burden that we’re asking college students to bear… that they would not even consider asking millionaires and billionaires to bear one-tenth of the burden that middle-class families would be asked to bear in a deficit reduction package.”
Earnest went on to note that the position “does not reflect where, frankly, the majority of Democrats, it doesn’t reflect where the majority of independents, and it doesn’t reflect where a large number, if not a majority of Republicans [are].”
The president did not watch the debate last night, however, Earnest said he has likely read some of the media reports out this morning.
The Obama campaign took the White House rebuke a step further. This morning, the president’ top political campaign strategist David Axelrod told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos that the GOP candidates were “pledging allegiance to the Tea Party” by refusing to accept a deal that includes tax increases.